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Nawaz Sharif, Daughter To Be Released; Pak Court Suspends Jail Sentence

20 September, 2018, 01:16 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • PTI leader Faisal Javed- File

A two-judge bench of the Islamabad High Court heard the petitions filed by former Sharif, 68, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar challenging their conviction related to the purchase of luxury flats in London.

Last week, Mr Sharif and his daughter were temporarily released from prison to attend funeral services for his wife, Kulsoom, who died of cancer in London.

Nawaz resigned as Pakistan prime minister past year after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding public office and ruled that graft cases be filed against the beleaguered leader and his children in the Panama Papers scandal.

An accountability court on July 6, had handed Nawaz Sharif 10 years as jail time for owning assets beyond income and 1 year for not cooperating with NAB in the Avenfield properties corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

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Khan is making his first official overseas trip to Saudi Arabia, the country that gave Sharif shelter after the 1999 coup, where he is reportedly seeking financial help to stave off the likelihood of another International Monetary Fund bailout.

Following the judges' decision on Sharif and his family, supporters rushed to the court in jubilation, chanting pro-Sharif slogans and waving banners and posters of the ex-premier.

Sharif has repeatedly called the cases against him politically motivated, suggesting collusion between the powerful military and courts to destabilize his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party and throw him out of power. The cases against the family stemmed from Panama Papers leak in April 2016. Sharif faced two more cases before the anti-graft tribunal and has been banned for life from public office.

Talking to PML-N workers in the office of jail superintendent, the former prime minister said that he has done nothing wrong as his conscience is completely satisfactied and Allah Almighty is always in favour of what is right and just. It ruled that the prisoners' sentences would be suspended and they would be allowed to go free. Sharif's party and others allege the July 25 polls were rigged to favor Khan, who is seen to be close to the army. His first government was dismissed by the then-President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in 1993 on corruption charges and his second government was toppled by Gen. Pervez Musharraf in a bloodless coup in October 1999.

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